It's been almost three years since I tested my first solid-state drive and that first impression has lasted to this day. Anyone that has used an SSD in their computer will tell you that it completely transforms performance. By removing the 6ms+ delay associated with hard drives, almost everything loads snappier -- often instantaneously.
For that reason, we have maintained for years that the single most important upgrade you can make to an enthusiast-grade machine is adding an SSD for your operating system and applications. The key downside to SSD technology is its cost per gigabyte, which is significantly higher than traditional mechanical hard drives.
Although SSDs are quicker and more reliable today, their price relative to mechanical drives has only improved slightly. For example, the Crucial m4 128GB costs $1.56/GB, the OCZ Vertex 3 120GB is set at $1.75/GB, while Intel's SSD 510 Series 120GB is going for $2.33/GB. Meanwhile, 2TB HDDs are available for as little as $0.04/GB.
There have been many attempts over the years to bring SSDs down to mainstream pricing but we're still a ways off. Hoping to nab a slice of the hybrid market, OCZ has launched its RevoDrive Hybrid, which fuses a 100GB SSD to a PCB alongside a 1TB 2.5" hard drive and connects using the PCI Express 2.0 x4 bus. At $500, this solution is priced at a peculiar $0.50/GB. It isn't exactly an entry-level product but that's significantly less than any SSD.